French newspaper L’Equipe is always a good stop off point if you want to get a gauge on potential transfers to the Premier League. They are usually a reasonably reputable source and with the propensity of France based players currently hopping the channel there is always plenty of rumours relating to the UK.
However the one that stood out over the weekend was the growing speculation in one Frenchman’s potential return to the North-East after a two-year absence. When he debuted for Arsenal in the 2001-02 season he replaced Thierry Henry and genuinely there were many who considered him a potential successor to the great ones throne.
The player in question is Jeremie Aliadiere.
Signed straight from the famed Clairefontaine academy his raw pace and natural ability made him an exceptional talent. He bagged goals galore in the FA Youth Cup and had Arsenal fans purring with mooted excitement.
However his slight frame and proneness to injury saw him fall a little at the wayside in the Premier League and despite the occasional exciting turn-out during his time at Middlesbrough his time in England was marred by the knee injuries that plagued him, not to mention a goal shyness that was not forgiven by English fans.
Since then Aliadiere trained with Arsenal to regain full fitness and then with the help of Arsene Wenger he agreed to join Lorient in France. To say he has had a renaissance would be a rather frivolous and pun-hungry claim but he has performed well during his time back in France and that has seen him linked back with a move to the Premier League, with Newcastle United.
This season has seen the usually goal-shy forward score five times in just nine appearances and his dexterity in the front line lends itself to Alan Pardew’s formation. He has also previously worked with Pardew at West Ham and not to mention the Francophone element of the deal which has proved so positive for Newcastle in their recent resurgence in the English game.
At 29-years-old no deal would be too costly for the striker and Alan Pardew could be making a shrewd signing by giving the former Arsenal, Celtic, West Ham, Wolves and Middlesbrough player another crack at English football with the Toon Army in January.
image: © machernucha